10/30/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/30/2019 18:54
For Immediate Release:
October 30, 2019
MDOT Public Affairs
Erin Henson, 410-865-1025
Jim Joyner, 410-865-1030
MDOT MEETS WITH FREDERICK COUNTY OFFICIALS
AS PART OF ANNUAL STATEWIDE TOUR
TO DISCUSS TRANSPORTATION PRIORITIES
Transportation Officials Announce Local Grants and Key Project Updates
(Frederick, MD) - Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn met with Frederick County officials today to discuss the Draft FY 2020-2025 Consolidated Transportation Program (CTP), which details the Maryland Department of Transportation's (MDOT) draft six-year capital budget. The meeting was part of MDOT's annual tour of 23 Maryland counties and Baltimore City to update local officials and the public on the Hogan administration's $15.3 billion investment over the next six years in transit, highways, the Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA), Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore, and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI Marshall). Officials also discussed the Maryland Transportation Authority's additional $3.1 billion investment in Maryland's toll roads and bridges.
'We have delivered a record program in record time and will continue improving our services to Marylanders,' said Secretary Rahn.
In 2015, the Hogan Administration outlined a program of historic investment in infrastructure. Over the last four years, MDOT has completed 1,069 projects totaling nearly $5.9 billion.
Secretary Rahn and other MDOT officials outlined key updates on transportation investments in Frederick County and across Maryland. Statewide, there are 718 airport, highway, transit, port, bicycle, and MDOT MVA projects underway, with a value of $7.2 billion.
The secretary announced an increase in funding through Highway User Revenues (HUR), made possible by bipartisan legislation signed by Governor Larry Hogan last year. Frederick County will receive $7,286,799 through HUR this year, an increase of $1,020,532 over last year's allocation. In addition, $77,553 in highway safety grants will benefit programs offered through the Frederick Police Department and the Frederick County Health Department.
MDOT team members representing the agency's business units at the meeting were: Secretary Rahn; MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer; Administrator Kevin Quinn from the MDOT Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA); Administrator Greg Slater from the MDOT State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA); Melissa Williams, Director of Planning and Program Development, from the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA); and Regional Aviation Assistance Office Director Ashish Solanki from the MDOT Maryland Aviation Administration (MDOT MAA).
Secretary Rahn reminded officials of workshops scheduled for November to discuss ways to reduce congestion on Interstate 270 between I-370 in Gaithersburg and I-70 in Frederick. MDOT SHA and the Federal Highway Administration are evaluating potential solutions as part of Gov. Hogan's I-495/I-270 P3 Program. For more information, visit 495-270-p3.com.
The workshops, which are part of the pre-National Environmental Policy Act process, will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at these locations in Frederick and Montgomery counties:
Tuesday, Nov. 12 - Clarksburg High School, 22500 Wims Road, Clarksburg;
Wednesday, Nov. 13 - Rec Center at Lincoln Elementary School, 200 Madison St., Frederick;
Wednesday, Nov. 20 - Urbana Fire Department Banquet Hall, 3602 Urbana Pike, Frederick;
Thursday, Nov. 21 - Activity Center at Bohrer Park, 506 S. Frederick Ave., Gaithersburg.
MDOT SHA discussed several Frederick County projects, including completion of the park-and-ride at US 15/Monocacy Boulevard. The park-and-ride is the last piece of the $74 million US 15 interchange.
MDOT SHA Administrator Slater offered an update on the I-270 Innovative Congestion Management project, which involves infrastructure improvements and intelligent transportation solutions in the I-270 corridor. The $131 million project is designed to improve commute times, and includes ramp meters to control flow, which keeps traffic moving. Next spring, MDOT SHA will activate the southbound ramp meter at MD 80 and other locations.
He also reported on the completion of $2.3 million in repairs on US 40 Alternate between Fern Lane and Ridge Road. The repairs were necessary following severe weather in 2018. Crews are also completing construction of a $5 million roundabout on MD 180 at Mt. Zion Road.
MDOT SHA recently completed work on projects including the US 15 bridge over MD 26 in Frederick and the MD 478 bridge in Knoxville. Another project, upgrading the MD 140 bridge over Flat Run in Emmitsburg, will be complete by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, upgrades are continuing on other bridges, including the MD 28 bridge over the Monocacy River near Tuscarora; the MD 355 bridge over the CSX railroad in Frederick; the MD 355 bridge over Bennett Creek in Urbana; and the MD 464 bridge over Little Catoctin Creek in Brunswick. The bridge projects are in line with Gov. Hogan's 2015 pledge to address poorly rated bridges in Maryland.
MDOT SHA is continuing work on the $87 million I-270 interchange reconstruction at MD 85, and is installing J-turns as a safety measure on US 15 between Hansonville Road and Hessong Bridge Road, and US 15 between Orndorff Road and College Lane. Another project, to be completed by the end of 2020, will provide an auxiliary lane along southbound US 15 from MD 26 to Motter Avenue.
Administrator Slater announced a $208,000 grant award to help the county design a two-mile trail along the Frederick and Pennsylvania Line Railroad corridor between Monocacy Boulevard in Frederick and Fountain Rock Park in Walkersville. MDOT is working on other bicycle and pedestrian projects using Transportation Alternatives and Recreation Trails programs. These include: phase four of the Ballenger Creek Trail; the East Street Rails with Trails; and the Golden Mile Multimodal Access project.
MDOT MTA invests in transit in Frederick County through Intercity bus service between BWI Airport and Grantsville provided by Bayrunners; Commuter bus and MARC train services; and by providing $6.5 million in operating and capital grants to support the TransIt bus service. That funding includes money for the TransIt facility expansion, Rideshare funds and ongoing maintenance. Additionally, $197,000 will help nonprofits provide transportation for local seniors and people with disabilities.
MDOT MTA is also awarding the county $24,000 through the Statewide Transit Innovation Grant program to conduct an inventory of TransIt bus stops. This will help prioritize stops for upgrades associated with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
MDOT MVA Administrator Nizer provided an update on federal REAL ID compliance, saying 52.1 percent of Charles County residents are REAL ID Ready in advance of the Oct. 1, 2020, deadline. She also praised students at the Frederick County Career and Technology Center for participation in the Making It Click program, a peer-led initiative that encourages seat belt use among young drivers.
Officials discussed statewide projects including the ongoing $27 million Bay Bridge rehabilitation, which involves replacing the deck surface of the westbound span right lane, sealing the deck and replacing lane signal gantries and steel rail posts
MDTA officials also noted the governor's latest proposed toll rate reductions, which could save Marylanders $28 million over the next five years. The proposal is scheduled for a vote by the MDTA Board on Nov. 21. In addition, MDTA has implemented all-electronic tolling at the Thomas J. Hatem Bridge on the Harford and Cecil county line, and at the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore.
Secretary Rahn highlighted records at the Port of Baltimore, including its handling of 11 million tons of general cargo in fiscal 2019. The port remains No. 1 in the nation for autos and roll on/roll off machinery, and ninth among U.S. ports for dollar value of cargo with $59.7 billion last year.
BWI Marshall is experiencing steadily growing passenger traffic with new airlines and service to new domestic and international markets. In 2018, BWI set a new all-time annual record for passenger traffic, exceeding 27.1 million passengers.
For fiscal year 2020, MDOT MAA will provide $2.48 million in state support for Maryland's public-use airports. This includes Frederick Municipal Airport, which will receive $325,449 for its runway extension project and new snow removal equipment.
MDOT officials said they were pleased to work with Frederick County officials on a highway safety plan to address personal injury crashes in Maryland. The state experienced 513 roadway fatalities in 2018. Maryland's Strategic Highway Safety Plan targets the most common causes of roadway fatalities: impaired driving; speeding; not wearing seat belts; distracted driving; and not using crosswalks.
Secretary Rahn encouraged residents and officials in attendance to sign MDOT's Traffic Safety Pledge, which is available at mdot.maryland.gov/newMDOT/SafetyPledge.html.
The meeting at Winchester Hall in Frederick was the 19th stop on the annual CTP tour. Each fall, MDOT presents its draft six-year capital program for review and comment. Meetings are held at locations in all 23 Maryland counties and Baltimore City. To view the CTP tour schedule, visit: https://bit.ly/2mhwlHn. To view the Draft CTP, visit: ctp.maryland.gov. Following input from the 24 jurisdictions, MDOT prepares a final budget to present to the General Assembly in January.